The Thomas Friedman Op-Ed Generator

Yesterday we complained about the staunch idiocy of David Brooks, but we also briefly contemplated the consistent uselessness of fellow Times op-ed writer Thomas Friedman, whom you will remember as the champion of everything dumb or otherwise not very well thought out. Now, out of nowhere, a website that generates even more perfect Friedman columns than Friedman himself.

Really, now, just get over there and start reading, then refreshing: thomasfriedmanopedgenerator.com. The titles alone will have you howling with a laughter that is also fury because: too real. “Backlash to the Backlash.” “Our Secret Sauce.” And, my personal favorite: “Malta is Israel.”

Oversimplifying the brutal complexities of a globalized world, offering advice like some dense and slightly drunk uncle over his tightly clasped hands—that’s Friedman, all right. I’d be shocked if the paper doesn’t fire him and go in for this kind of programming: that way, next time the real Friedman visits Mongolia, they can send him on a one-way ticket.

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Make Some NYT Op-Ed Columnists Fight to the Death

That tears it: David Brooks’s just fantastically idiotic argument against freedom(!) in The New York Times yesterday—not going to link, you’re welcome—has me convinced that a few of the Gray Lady’s opinion-machines need to be put in a death dome and forced to fight a battle royale. Don’t act like you’re not with me.

Not all of them, okay? I’d like to see Paul Krugman in a little referee outfit, for one. And Gail Collins would provide sparkling color commentary, I’ve no doubt. But to see Thomas Friedman pile-drive Nicholas Kristof, only to have Kristof produce a machete from his last African sojourn and spill the man’s guts: oh man.

Brooks, I think, will have to take on Ross Douthat for the position of so-called token moderate conservative. The two of them hacking into each other with barbed-wired baseball bats would be such a glorious literalization of their day-to-day work. Winner goes on to face Maureen Dowd, who will not be permitted to assume her dragon form.

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Five Best Things About The Syllabus For David Brooks’s Humility Course

Besides the contact info david.brooks@yale.edu, which could come in handy if you need an extension, which are only granted for emergencies, so otherwise just bootstrap yourself into a non-mediocrity and get it done.

1.  Office hours are “9:30-11:30 Monday nights at coffee shop meeting room or other locale.” Leaving aside the helpful commas that could have been inserted here, what the hell? David Brooks sitting in a coffee shop till nearly midnight on a Monday, waiting for undergrads to come discuss humility with him. Amazing.

2.  All the book titles are in quotation marks, New York Times-style, even though italics are used elsewhere, the fuck are you doing David Brooks.
 
3.  On week three, the class will discuss whether there has “been a rise in narcissism.” This will be an awkward session, as everyone who enrolls is guaranteed to be a sociopath. See also: “We will ask whether it is proper to put a Yale window sticker on the back of your car.”
 
4.  The very last bit of reading material, buried at the bottom of the page: “Life Reports by David Brooks (Three New York Times columns).”
 
5.  Participation is 20% of your grade. Wait, what? Man, that’s actually bullshit. I have intramural Frisbee practice most Tuesdays. 

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